No stone left un-ultrasounded.

Yesterday, I checked back in with my gastroenterologist.  I left with an order for an ultrasound of my gallbladder (which will happen tomorrow), a prescription for Xifaxin, and a big Ziploc bag filled with small containers that I had to fill with my poop this morning.

Insert Crappy Jokes Here

My dad taught me from a very early age that rule #1 is that farts are funny. By extrapolation, the fact that I have to submit 5 stool samples is hilarious to me.  Unfortunately, the actual process of creating them was less funny. I’d write more about it, but to be completely honest, I’m just glad it’s done.

happypoo

OMG WEEE!!!

Lookin out for #1.

On Monday, I’m scheduled to collect urine all day long for an endocrinologist appointment. I’ve got to contact the office and make sure that the Xifaxin won’t affect anything.  I’ve already rescheduled with them once, moving the date from March to May. At this point, I’m kind of wondering if my health is ever going to cooperate enough for someone to look at my hormones and fix the things that are very obviously wonky.

The worst part about working with BodyLogicMD in this situation is that I had to pay $200 up front, just for the privilege of going in for labs before I meed with the doctor (who charges more than $500 for the visit and doesn’t file insurance paperwork).  I’m halfway tempted to just call it a loss and contact an endocrinologist who works in the same medical group as my primary care physician.  I need to find a new cardiologist out by me too, and they have that in the same place. On the one hand, I love that Advocate Medical has a one-stop shop just up the road from me… on the other, I am not a huge fan of my new PCP.

I survived another meeting that could have been an email.

survival

Last time Dr. Williams and I saw each other, I wanted to smack her for calling me in for a visit that could have been a 2 minute telephone conversation and instead was a 45 minute wait for a 5 minute visit where she got visibly annoyed with me for asking her whether or not Lipitor was okay to take while pregnant, since I was concerned at the time that I might be pregnant.

Doctors should be able to answer, quickly, whether or not a drug is ok to be taken during pregnancy… but she couldn’t tell me and acted annoyed that I asked her to look it up. And when I asked her if I would have to be on a statin the rest of my life, she responded, “You don’t ever have to take any medicine!”  which was not remotely helpful in answering my query.  I needed to know if high cholesterol is another chronic ailment that I need to add to my list.

Of course, this is the kind of thinking that happens when you’ve been racking up comorbidities for years and have a sense of humor about you.  I mean, her nurse said during our first visit that just because I said I have MS and seizure disorder doesn’t mean I really do, and that they needed proof from my neurologist. (HIPPA is so important, but such a pain in the ass.) If I didn’t laugh heartily then, I would have cried.

So, now I’m trying to figure out if I should take the time to try another primary care physician at a different close-by medical group (which is a huge pain in the ass considering the multiple conditions that need to be explained and to have HIPPA forms filled out for), or just roll my eyes and only see Dr. Williams when I absolutely must, knowing that she and her staff are not on my happy list.

I’m really not sure the best course of action here – especially since my husband is the one who has to take me to appointments (since I can’t drive and have a swiss cheese memory), and his job is what’s providing for our family.  Why can’t more doctors have night-time and weekend hours? It’s like they are able to completely ignore that most folks have to go to work M-F, 9-5, because we need their help.

Anyway, I’m sure this will all get sorted out. If they figure out what’s causing the gastritis and colitis, and we treat it, then hopefully I’ll stop having extra seizures, thanks to pseudoexacerbations.  The domino effect is a real thing in this body!  I just hope I don’t have to have surgery to remove my gallbladder. That would suck.

And on a completely different note…

Purim started last night, and Easter is this weekend.  We haven’t gone to temple or church, and that’s likely the way that life is going to continue.  Adam and I are big into the “God is Everywhere/Everything” way of thinking, but we don’t want our kid to miss out on celebrations that are fun — so, Henry is going to go to his Busia’s house for an egg hunt with his cousins on Saturday. I feel compelled to make hamentashen to bring to the festivities, before my gastroenterologist makes me go on the gluten-free diet we discussed.  I think Jesus would approve.

jesus

Fuck yeah, cookies!

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Uber-annoying.

I am ready for my self-driving car now. You can deliver it anytime you’d like to, Google or Tesla. I’m ready to be an early adopter.

Well, that’s shitty.

Last week, I had an endoscopy and colonoscopy on Thursday. Adam had to take off from work Wednesday and Thursday to help me. Turns out I have both gastritis and colitis, and they’re trying to figure out why. At least there were no polyps, and the biopsies came back clean.

The gastroenterologist called me today and wants me to come in today to give them some cultures, but I can’t just pop in. I can’t drive. So now, I have an appointment, and Adam’s having to take off Wednesday in lieu of the vacation day he was supposed to get on Friday for Good Friday, all so that I can go in and they can check my poop. Ugh.

Life right now, health-wise, is super frustrating. The gastroenterologist prescribed an expensive drug to treat my inflammation and GERD that I started on Friday, and it turns out that the drug lowers seizure threshhold and I can’t tolerate it.

Friday was scary for me.  I keep having days sprinkled here and there where I have tons of seizures – like I did back in 2008 and 2009, before I did EMDR. Days that I don’t end up remembering. Days when I can’t care for myself or Henry, and I need Adam or someone there. I was incredibly lucky that my friend Natasha was able to come by for a couple of hours to watch Henry and make sure I was doing ok.

There’s definitely something bad going on in my body.  I’ve had sudden-urge diarrhea on and off for months now, which has become a constant issue since the colonoscopy. (This is the sort of thing that happens when you delay getting checked out because you incorrectly assume something is caused by MS.) My GERD is out of control. I’m sick of waking up around 2:30 in the morning, choking on bile.  My throat is still sore from it. I keep having pseudoexacerbations of MS too, where suddenly, my feet will go tingly, or my left side and chest will go numb, or my legs will start hurting to the point that it brings tears to my eyes. Only cannabis helps then, and I’m almost out of the little bit that I have. I’ve made this eighth last more than a month.

It’s tough to legally toke.

I know you’re thinking, “But isn’t medical marijuana legal in IL?” and the answer is yes. But I have to get a doctor to prescribe it for me, fill out all the paperwork, and send it in (meaning I have to find a provider who is willing to do it) — and then I have paperwork, fingerprinting, and other shit to do on my end too, and it’s not cheap. It costs almost $200 and takes at least 6 months to receive your card.  For comparison, you can get an eighth illegally for less than $50.

Should I get the ball rolling? Absolutely, but it’s just another big bunch of hurdles to me right now.  It’s not like I can drive to the closest dispensary (which happens to be all the way in Mokena because Tinley Park and Orland Park are apparently unwilling to have a dispensary. Grr.) to get their help. I’m stuck at home, caring for my baby.

Help would be awesome.

Of course, the next thought is, “Why not get a sitter?”  I think that would be a LOVELY idea… assuming we could find anyone who is available at a moment’s notice. Even family isn’t. We tried SitterCity, looking for a caregiver who would be able to watch both of us, but didn’t find anyone good. Now we’re talking about trying Care.com – but I’m not hopeful.  And it feels like robbery that we have to pay $30 a month for the privilege of even looking at or talking to the available caregivers in our area.

If I weren’t in the middle of dealing with a myriad of health problems (Let’s not forget that on top of the MS, seizure disorder, gastritis, colitis, and GERD, I’ve got to get 2 cavities filled over the next 2 weeks and that I’m in therapy for postpartum depression), I’d create a business that is essentially Uber for babysitting. I wish, so badly, that it existed already here.

I know what you’re thinking.  Why not use Uber to get to the doctor’s office, instead of wishing for a self-driving car?  And the answer to that is simple. It’s expensive, and I’d have to put Henry in an infant seat he no longer safely fits in, and then carry that infant seat with him in it, everywhere. My kid is 25 pounds and nearly 3 ft tall. That seat is 17 pounds on its own. It ain’t happenin. I’m just not strong enough to lug around 42 pounds in my arms while dealing with random diarrhea and MS issues.

Attitude is everything.

I honestly don’t know how Adam is handling life with such a great attitude. I’m having a hard time coping with all of this, and he’s the one working for a living, chauffeuring me everywhere, talking with the doctors because my Swiss-cheese brain isn’t helping anything, cooking, and keeping me and Henry safe when my seizures get big. But he keeps smiling, so I keep trying to smile as much as possible. I keep focusing and then re-focusing on gratitude.

Sometimes, life is not meant to be enjoyed. It’s meant to be endured. So, I’m gonna take a few deep breaths and meditate to help get through this. Fortunately Oprah & Deepak have another 21-day meditation challenge that starts today.

namastemfers

*waves*

Hey there.

Life’s been crazy. I have been writing – just not on this blog. I’ve been writing here.

modern-day-ms

Here’s a link to my most recent stuff.

I was actually just featured in an interview on that site yesterday.

Love That Hugabug!

hugabug

Henry is growing like crazy. 10 months old, wearing size “18 month” clothes. He’s babbling all the time, blowing raspberries, and pulling himself up on furniture. He’s so close to walking that I’m trying my best to appreciate how easy it is to keep up with him these days.

I’ve started working on planning his 1st birthday party, which will be a joint party with his Grandpa (my dad), since they share a birthday weekend.  I think I’m actually more excited about my parents, my brother and his awesome wife coming in town to celebrate than I am about the fact that we managed to make it a full year without accidentally killing our beautiful, amazing baby. Being a parent is hard, yo.

I’m a mess, but I’m doing my best.

My health has been frustrating and upsetting, so I’ve been doing my best to minimize the struggle while responsibly handling it.

I believe I had an early miscarriage a couple of months ago. I’m usually very regular, but had a couple of very faint positive pregnancy tests and then didn’t bleed for 50+ days.  When I did get my period, it was the heaviest, most awful period I’ve ever had.  Dr. Dad thinks I might have just missed a period. He said it happens all the time, and not to worry about it. Adam has decided Dad’s right, so I’ve jumped on the “don’t mourn something that never was” bandwagon with my conscious mind and have been dealing with terrible depression and nightmares because of the choice to repress my feelings of guilt and sadness. I see my therapist on Saturday, thankfully.

Of course, just afterwards, I had a MS relapse, complete with tons of seizures, neuropathic pain in my legs, muscle spasms, and tingling/burning on various parts of my back. A medrol dose pack seems to have done the trick to quiet most of it. Come to think of it, it’s been almost 6 years without a drip — so that’s pretty good, I guess.

My stomach is still up to its shenanigans, reminding me after almost every meal that eating is not a good idea… and that’s despite my gastroenterologist doubling the amount of Prilosec I take. I am scheduled for an upper and lower GI scope on St. Patrick’s Day.  (Fun, right?)

After 2 years of not seeing a dentist for a myriad of reasons, I finally went in for a cleaning and exam. I have 2 cavities to get filled this month as well, in 2 separate visits.

I honestly don’t remember the last time that I went to the gym to work out (though I did see a nutritionist), and today, I’m fantasizing about finding a chiropractor because my neck is super-sore from my head dropping thanks to seizures. Unintentional headbanging FTW. Honestly, I’m tired of hurting. Apparently, not tired enough to use my foam roller, but just enough to think about it and then whine to myself you.

cantwin

The bright spot in the health area is that I finally got glasses.  They’re cute and helpful. I had no idea how badly I needed them!  I now look forward to the day when Henry stops wanting to rip them off my face and throw them. I’m sure that will eventually happen someday.

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Anyway, that’s all for now. The little one is stirring, and I need to change and feed him.  Hope you’re having a good day! Be well!